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The Influencer Edge

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The Influencer Edge

[Header image credit: Canva]

By Claire Murray, Brand Innovation Supervisor, The Marketing Arm

We live in an age where the noise level for consumers increases daily. Brands can no longer politely ask for attention, but must strategically demand it.

If you take a minute to think about it, brands that demand attention from consumers have a distinct edge to them, one that sets them apart as innovative, authentic, and relevant.

The Marketing Arm believes a brand that understands the power of influencers has that edge — and with it, a demanding presence in their market and the opportunity to create true brand fans.

But how does a brand create this illusive yet imperative Influencer Edge? Here is a quick look at a few things we consider for each of our clients.

Influencer First, Rather Than Last

All too often, a brand spends extensive time on their strategy and ideas without considering influencer as a factor from the start. The danger in this approach lies in wasted dollars and worse… annoyed consumers. An influencer-last mindset leads to brands contributing to the daily roar of information consumers are already sorting through — and with 49% of consumers being “fatigued” by one-off and traditional influencer marketing, last minute influencer integration can harm a brand.

One brand that grew from the ground up with an influencer-first strategy is Glossier. In an oversaturated beauty market, Glossier demands consumer attention by considering the power of influencers first. But “instead of collaborating with big influencers, they tend to partner with ‘micro-influencers’ with fewer followers, but really high engagement rates on their posts. As a result, Glossier is able to reach more niche audiences who are more likely to convert.”

From the beginning, Glossier considered micro-influencers and brand super-fans as their most valuable use of marketing dollars and where their strategy begins, which is what has made their brand so attention-grabbing and disruptive to the beauty industry.

Brands with the Influencer Edge begin their strategy with influencers instead of considering them an a la carte item to order only when they realize the main dish didn’t satisfy.

In what order does your brand consider influencer? Pro tip: move it up to a top three item.

Audience Obsession Pays Off

At The Marketing Arm, it’s easy to say that we are audience obsessed. Knowing that an entire idea and strategy hinges on reaching the right people, we give target audience analysis and segmentation extreme focus. Currently, brands are making an average of $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing and when appropriate attention is given to audience, that number only goes up.

As online communities become more micro and niche in interests, learning exactly how to reach consumers in those communities is key – and often influencers, in particular micro-influencers, are the only way to accomplish a sustainable amount of reach.

To become a brand with Influencer Edge, spend extensive time getting to know and understand your audience. It’s a wise investment that will pay off.

Consistent Education

As Bill Gates said, “innovation is moving at a scarily fast pace,” and having a strategy to overcome the increase in pace is essential for every brand. While meetings, budgets, and the daily grind can be all consuming, a brand with true Influencer Edge carves out time regularly to stay in-the-know on trends in culture, technology, and influencer, which should all infuse brand decisions surrounding influencer.

For example, how do the additions of Instagram TV (IGTV) and Instagram polls change our influencer approach and/or strategy? Recently, Bacardi with IGTV and H&M with Instagram polls have both used influencers and consumer engagement in brilliant ways. These examples are proof that brands with Influencer Edge aren’t late to the game and stay on the pulse of what’s happening.

At The Influencer Continuum this fall, The Marketing Arm will help participating brands uncover how they can achieve an Influencer Edge with their consumers.

For any questions regarding The Influencer Continuum on Oct. 28-30, please reach out to Kiley Kmiec.